He made it all

Psalm 33:6-9 NLT – The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. [7] He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. [8] Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of him. [9] For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.

Many people I speak to wonder how the world came in to existence. They often wonder if there was a Creator or if evolution theory is true. The above passage settles it for me. The Lord merely spoke and the heavens were created. That is all I need to know. I don’t have to wonder or theorise, I believe God made it all. Some scientists may think it happened by random chance, but I believe there was a Creator – the God of the Bible. His Word says it and I believe it. Case closed!

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for creating this amazing world we live in. Thank You for the stars, the moon, the oceans, the streams, the grassy fields, the birds and animals. Thank You for creating mankind that we can know You. Thank You for creating me. I praise You and thank You for Your wonderful works. Today I stand in awe of You. Amen.

Humble before God

Knowing our place before God is vital for us as Christians. We are His children when we come to Christ, but we still have to understand that He is Almighty God. He is the King and Creator of the universe. All powers and principalities are under Him. He is all powerful, all knowing and all present.

When I was a new Christian I used to watch a lot of old movies. I especially enjoyed the ones with kings and knights in from the middle ages. I always loved the way that the knights came back from battle, laid down their swords and knelt face down before the king. They only rose when the king gave them the order to rise.

For me this is a good picture of knowing our place before God. Yes He is our Abba Father, but He is also our King. In fact He is the King of all kings and the Lord or all lords. I need to remember that I need to be like the knights and bow before my King.

As I type I am reminded of James 4:10 in the NLT. It says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honour”. My heart is to humble myself before God and wait for Him to ask me to rise. My heart is to always know my place before the King of the universe.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to always know my place before You. I pray that I will always be humble before You. I pray that I will always be found in Your presence ready to do Your will. I pray I will only rise when You say to rise. I ask in Jesus name, Amen.

10 things God says about you

The title of my message today is “10 things God says about you in the Bible”. Today I want to use Romans 12:3 as my starting verse and go from there.

Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

This verse reminds of the important of having a right view of ourselves. It says we should think of our self with sober judgement. The Greek word used here for sober is so-fron-eh’-o. It means to think and be in your right mind or to think correctly about ourselves. Some people think too highly of themselves, while others have a too low opinion. The best way to think right about ourselves in by seeing who God we are in the Bible.

As Christians I believe at times we need to be reminded of who God says we are. Sometimes we forget just how loved we are and just how important we are to God. Today I want to look at 10 Scriptures that changed and transformed my life. They helped me to see myself through God’s eyes and are helping me to fulfil the destiny God has before me.

The main focus is to let God’s Word speak to our hearts and minds. I will read each Scripture and make a short comment.

1. You are created in God’s image

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

We are made in God’s image. According to most theologians or Bible scholars, being made in God’s image has three aspects or three schools of thought…

  • Structural – Structural in the way we are made. We think, can reason, make choices and love. We are logical cognitive beings. When we do these things we reflect God’s image.
  • Vocational – God is vocational. He is creative in the way He works and created this world. When we create and work and use our gifts in the world around us we reflect God’s image.
  • Relational – God is in the perfect loving triune relationship – the Trinity. Three persons, but one in love, purpose, mission, unity and relationship. When we love God and relate to each other in loving ways we reflect God outwards to the world around us.

While most theologians or Bible scholars fall into one of those camps, I believe that being made in the image of God is a combination of all three. When we make choices, when we work using God’s gifts and when we related lovingly to each other, we reflect God’s image.

As Christ followers we need to remember that God’s DNA is stamped on us. Yes the fall of man skewed the image when God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden and sin entered the world, but it was restored in Christ’s death and resurrection. We are able to reflect all God wants us to be.

2. You were chosen before the foundation of the world

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— (Ephesians 1:4-5)

God chose us before the creation us the world. What did He choose us for? To be holy and blameless in His sight. Why? Because that would give Him pleasure! It was His will and prior choice to have you in His Kingdom and adopted into His eternal family.

3. You were created for good works

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

We are created by God for good works that He planned for us before He made the world. You were on His mind and He had a job for you to do. Like Queen Esther was chosen for a time such as this, so are you. God made you perfectly to play your part. He used all the right ingredients when moulding you on His potter’s wheel. You are gifted with everything you need to do all He needs you to do. Next week we will look into this in a deeper way when we look at using our gifts well.

4. You were adopted as children of God

Yet to all who received him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— (John 1:12)

We are God’s children. Adopted into His eternal family because our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. We are co-heirs with Christ. We are all born into this world in to natural families. Some are good and some are not so good. But when we come to Christ we enter the eternal family of God. We here are brothers and sisters. Not just for this life, but for all eternity.

As I shared in my message a few weeks ago – we will spend way more time in eternity than we will on earth. When we have been there 10,000 years we have only just begun. Look around and see your brothers and sisters in Christ. These relationships will last for eternity. We are brothers and sisters in Christ forever and ever and ever. We are adopted into Christ and God’s eternal family.

5. You have the power of the resurrection inside you

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. (Romans 8:11)

Not only are we God’s children and made in God’s image, but we have part of God living inside us. We have resurrection power living in us. The Bible also tells us that we are a Temple of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit resides in you (1 Corinthians 6:19). When we come together we have part of the Creator of the universe resides in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). We don’t have to feel powerless because the same Spirit who hovered over the waters and the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is alive and active in you.

6. You are no longer condemned

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)

Often we feel condemned and unworthy in the face of a Holy God. God tells us in the Bible there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. None at all. The Greek word used here for condemned is kat-ak’-ree-mah. It means an adverse sentence or judgement from a judge. We are condemned and ready to be sentenced to jail. But this verse says there is no condemnation. No sentence against us. Our judgement has been put aside.

As a result we can’t let other people make us feel condemned, or the devil and we can’t even condemn ourselves. We are free. Personally I was the worst offender at condemning myself. If I spoke to you the way I spoke to myself most of the time, then you would not want to be my friend and you would definitely not want me preaching up front! Romans 8:33-34 NLT told me that if God has said we are right with Him, who can condemn us. No-one! Not even ourselves! Now I am free to live in the love of Christ. Free from condemnation.

7. You are alive and seated with Christ

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)

When Jesus returned to heaven He took up the highest place in the universe – seated at the right hand of the Father. These verses tell us that spiritually we are seated right there with Christ. You hold a special place in the heavenly realm. Learning this at Bible college changed my whole perspective on life and how I see myself. I now see my standing as with Christ. I can hold my head up high.

8. God created you in your mother’s womb

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13).

This is David praying/talking to God. David realised the special role God played in creating him. He knit him together in his mother’s womb. The potter moulded and shaped him into a future king. God also knit you together. Making you exactly how He wanted you to be. There are no mistakes. You are what He intended you to be. God said that same thing to Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “before I created you, I knew you.”

9. God loved you and sent His Son for you

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)

God loved you so much that He couldn’t bear for you to miss out on spending eternity with Him. He sent Jesus to die for you. Jesus gave His life for you. For God so loved you as it says in John 3:16. It is the greatest sacrifice and the greatest demonstration of love of all time. He loved you first and planned always for you to be His treasured possession. You are God’s treasured possession. Loved and treasured. God is besotted with you.

When God looks at you He looks at you with the pride and love of a parent holding their new born child, or like when you watch your children play, or like when you see your child ride their bike for the first time, or when you see your child grow up and marry. There is an immense love and pride in you. God loves you. He adores you. He is besotted with you.

10. You are free in Christ

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

If you are in Christ, you are free. Free of worry about salvation, free of worry about the future, free of the past, free of sin, free of guilt, free of condemnation, free of striving to be accepted, free of the need to know if God loves you or not. He loves you and accepts you. You are His. You are chosen. You are part of His eternal family. You are free of everything that would hold you back from being all God wants you to be.

Closing

Today we have looked at 10 passages that tell us who we are and what we have in Christ. And this is only just scratching the surface of the amount of passages in the Bible that tell us how important to and how loved we are by God.

When we fully believe these verses it changes our hearts and minds and it truly changes the way we live. We can stand taller and we can be confident in taking on the world knowing that God loves us, is with us and is on our side.

Summary

  1. You are made in God’s image
  2. You were chosen before the world was made
  3. You were created and equipped for good works
  4. You are adopted into His family
  5. You have the Holy Spirit living inside you
  6. You are no longer condemned
  7. You are seated with Christ
  8. You were knit together in your mother’s womb
  9. You are truly loved by God
  10. You are free in Christ. Free from everything that would hold you back.

It is my hope and prayer that you will take these Scriptures home with you and read them everyday this week. Let them sink deep into your heart and mind. Amen.

Inner strength from God

In Ephesians the Apostle Paul prays two prayers for the church at Ephesus. The second is found in chapter 3. It says…

Ephesians 3:16-18 NLT – I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. [17] Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. [18] And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

In this short prayer Paul mentions four great things that he wants for the Ephesian church.

  1. Prayed that God would supply us inner strength through the Holy Spirit
  2. Then Christ will make His home in our hearts
  3. Our roots will go down deep in Him
  4. May we understand how deep God’s love is for us

These are four great things to ask for. We all need inner strength. We all need Christ in our hearts. We all need our roots to go down in him. And we all need to understand the depth of God’s love for us.

It is my prayer that you have all these things today.

Prayer

Dear God, I pray for everyone who reads this post. I pray that from Your glorious, unlimited resources You will empower them with inner strength through the Spirit. I pray Christ will make His home in their hearts as they trust in Him. I pray their roots will grow down into Your love and keep them strong. And may they have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love is. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The power of one video

Years ago while doing outreach in our community I learned the power of having just one video and what it can achieve.

As a ministry we were giving away free Jesus Films in our local community. We would deliver pamphlets during the week to let people know that we would come the following weekend to give them a free movie about Jesus.

We found that one in every three homes wanted to take a video. This was inline with the national averages. They found one person wanted a video, one was not home and one person was not interested.

At one home we knocked on the door. A lady answered and said she was waiting for us to come. She was very keen to have a copy of the Jesus Film as she had been thinking about God lately.

We left her a free video and said we will be back in a few weeks to see how she went and if she had any questions.

When we returned a few weeks later we were very surprised by her response. We asked if she had watched the video. She said I watched the video and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. We were very happy.

Then she said that is not all. When her husband came home, they watched it together. Then all of her children had watched it and received Jesus too. We were overwhelmed that one video had brought a whole family of six to Christ.

Then she said that is not all. She took the video to her work in a nursing home and the 66 residents watched it and many of them received Christ. We were overjoyed and praised God.

This experience showed the power of just one evangelistic resource. One Jesus film reached over 70 people for Christ. Our intention was to reach one person, but it snow balled in to over 70!

From this time on I have never doubted the power of one video, one tract, or one visit to our website. We never know how God is going to use what we have in our hands.

Toady I wonder what I have in my hands that God could use? What have you got in your hands? We never know how God could use one evangelistic item for His Kingdom!